56 Up - Movie Review

Monica Sullivan

Imagine that you started grade school with some really cute kids almost half a century ago.  Over the years, at regular intervals, the kids kept you up to date on their lives: they stopped being cute in their teens, they got married, they had kids, they got divorced, they got back together again or they fell for someone else.  Their parents got sick and/or died, they changed professions, they lost their confidence, they cheated on their spouses and everyone including the kids and grandkids were furious about it.  All these details, unredeemed by insight or literary shadings, are the foundations of gossip.

I loved "28 Up" when it came out.  It was directed by Michael Apted when he was 42 and his impressions of the kids were very different.  He’s 71 now and rightfully proud of the series despite the inevitable law of diminishing returns.  A 56 year old pensioner is just not as gripping as kids and young adults with their entire futures ahead of them.  If you loved 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and 49 Up, you may not love “56 Up” as well.  For this viewer, a fresher, deeper look at the subjects might have been more rewarding than picture postcard smiles and vintage clips.

© 2013 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 01/16/13
Movie Magazine International